Archive for April, 2009

I have been following weaving blogs but instead of feeling inspired I have been feeling more and more inhibited. I have found that I have been putting off writing a post and had a sense of falling out of the loop. So today I am taking myself in hand and taking an objective stand. Enough ennui and lack of self belief.

I think I am experiencing a reality check. I have had the excitement of discovering I can weave, the amazement of seeing patterns appear as if by magic. I have struggled with my impatience, learnt to take time with each stage (still difficult as I want to get on with the weaving bit!!) But I am dissatisfied with where I’m at. I have become caught in a ‘copying the books’ trap. I was telling myself that it was necessary to get to grips with the language of weaving and important to try out different threadings and treadlings. This is all all true but am I just avoiding  sitting  down, concentrating and working  out something truly my own? 

I have made use of the library at my local guild. It is well stocked with weaving and spinning classics.I have recently borrowed Mary Black’s “The Key to Weaving” and E. Worst’s “Foot Power Loom Weaving.”  He has a wonderful stock of traditional patterns including pages of Overshot and examples of traditional linen weaves which look wonderful. I have ordered second hand copies through Alibris as both are out of print.

There are some comments in Mary Black which have made me think. I am weaving some Overshot place mats at the moment. I have taken the design from the  book  published by Interweave  “Overshot is Hot”, which is why  I feel personally addressed by the following about Overshot:

” Of all the weaves,this one seems to have the greatest appeal to new weavers and as a consequence has probably been more abused than any other.

“Fortunately, present-day weavers have a keener appreciation of design and use their weaving knowledge with greater discrimination and effectivness.”

That statement contains some personal truths for me and has made me think. I have been fascinated by Overshot, at first finding it fussy and old-fashioned, but then getting absorbed in the connection with weavers past and the intricate swirls and blocks. Though I have not attempted to create my own design and haven’t really fathomed out how it all works. There is so much existing material that it is quite difficult to be adventurous. Are my table mats which are copied from a book being ‘discriminating and effective’ ? I have chosen my own colour scheme , ecru and black and actually I like what I am weaving. They look good with plain white everyday china. They are rather fussy but as long as the china is plain I think that’s OK. I would appreciate any comments as I am not sorrounded with friends making helpful criticisms


I am repeating the central pattern three times instead of the once shown in the book  (does that count for originality!!!) as my prototype mat shrunk an inch each way and I want them larger than the place setting. The joke is we hardly ever use table cloths let alone mats but theres always a first time for civilization to hit. I am hoping to get four out of the warp…..the dining room table won’t fit more people anyway!!



I have been analysing my best china, which my mother passed on to me recently. Its pink Spode and needs a plain weave mat with some surface texture. I also have some pink and blue Royal Doulton. It comes out at Christmas and the rare occasions when we entertain.



 This is a pudding dish in Spode Camilla. I wish it was blue Spode but never mind. I think it needs a deep pinky red textured weave. There are 12 of everything all sitting in the back of a kitchen cupboard. Enough for 12 for dinner and 12 for afternoon tea !!!!!! I don’t envisage weaving place mats for 12. Where would they all sit anyway?



                                                            I also have a smaller set of Royal Douton which is also mainly pink but has some deep blue and a green mixed in…



I have to now accept that the creative process has started and just needs some thought, experiment and time to develop a pleasing weave. It will not be Overshot but possibly a Swedish lace. I have recently played around with a sample piece using one of Ann Dixon’s patterns and found it makes a lovely fabric





This is Swedish lace, it would look a little better if not whipped out of a bag where its been folded up  for a few days and was pressed. It is actually very pretty.





 Its funny  that I started writing this with heavy heart and here I am planning something new and feel quite turned on by it. I am interested in a Russian psychologist called Vygotsky (1896-1934) He promoted an experimental method in which the tool used is the result. So here I am researching my lack of creative energy and attempting to define what I need to get moving. In the process of analysis (i.e. writing this post) I have found myself rekindled, planning future projects, using personal imagination, and feeling a lot better!!!

The sun is shining and I have just wandered out to the garden with my camera. The spring  flowers look wonderful. The colours are dynamic. Thought I might share them with you.


I am going to a weekend weaving workshop this Saturday, so with one thing and another I am back on track.

Read Full Post »